Batavia, NY- When City Newspaper sought out nominees this year for its annual Best of Rochester competition, a Genesee Community College instructor rose to the top in not just one of the 134 categories, but two. Karen Todd Flack is an artist and musician who’s been teaching at GCC since 2008. She’s competing for Best Local Mural and Best Local Original Band.
The 10’ x 25’ mural is a farm scene Flack created for the newly renovated Village Bakery and Café located at 145 Culver Road at the Armory in downtown Rochester. “The owner wanted to bring attention to their philosophy and what they offer; local farm products, produce, free range eggs. So it incorporates trying to promote that aspect of the business,” she said. The mural features the sun rising behind the mountains that edge the farm with chickens, a cow, trees and phrases such as “It’s not just what we use. It’s what we don’t.” Flack estimates she collected 150 images that inspired the mural design. She often paints from photographs. “That’s what I teach my students too, to always have some visual references.” The mural is near a seating area at the café, so patrons can view it while they’re eating. You can see a photograph of it at Flack’s website http://www.davincijane.com/sign-painting.html.
Flack was “flabbergasted” when she discovered the mural was a finalist in the Best of competition. She found out while casting her own Best of votes. “I got word from my bandmate that our band had been nominated, so I was going over the listing and making my own choices, and all of a sudden I came across my name. I was shocked!” Flack plays viola in the “Tommy Brunett Band,” which is nominated as Best Local Original Band. She’s been with the band for seven years and collaborates on the songwriting. “It’s nice to be recognized,” she said. “It’s a big boost of encouragement.”
Last summer, Flack received another boost when she got to play onstage with “The Marshall Tucker Band” at the Rochester Lilac Festival. She credits her husband, Tim Flack, for arranging it. “Our band opened for them. While we were playing I could see him behind the stage talking to one of the guys from Marshall Tucker. He was setting it up. He’s my support, always pushing me to go for it.”
To view the concert video go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U18kbk8aPoU
The couple married in April. He is the assistant principal at Genesee Valley BOCES in Mt. Morris. They reside in Spencerport and together have four children; Karen’s Lydia and Gideon, ages 13 and 11 and Tim’s Olivia and DeLaney ages 11 and 9.
This semester, Flack is teaching Two Dimensional Design, Drawing 1 and 2 and independent study in Painting 2 at GCC’s Albion Campus Center.
Voting for the Best of Rochester awards continues through 5 p.m. on Friday, October 17, 2014. You can vote for Karen’s mural (#91) and the Tommy Brunett Band (#110) online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/WKGRK5L. Winners will be announced on October 29.
For more information, contact Marketing Communications Associate Director Donna Rae Sutherland at (585) 343-0055 ext. 6616, or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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For a photograph of Karen Todd Flack at GCC’s Albion Campus Center with artwork on display: